The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $3 million in two new partnerships to provide training and equipment to crop insurance agents, adjusters and outreach educators about crop insurance options.
The partnerships with the Intertribal Agriculture Council and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Southern Risk Management Education Center will support the USDA's Risk Management Agency efforts to expand outreach on crop insurance to underserved producers.
The Intertribal Agriculture Council will get approximately $1.9 million and, with the Risk Management Agency, will work with minority-serving institutions and underserved stakeholder groups to train, provide credentials and create a pipeline of crop insurance agents and adjusters in underserved communities.
"Joining forces with our partners -- Rural Coalition, Annie's Project and Alcorn State University -- enhances delivery efforts in all sectors of historically underserved communities," Intertribal Agriculture Council Executive Director Kari Jo Lawrence said in a recent USDA news release.
"It also ensures a lasting effect across the crop insurance sector to deliver available risk management options."
Alcorn State University is a historically black land-grant university at Lorman, Miss.
The Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will get approximately $1.4 million to provide technical assistance and outreach about federal crop insurance to underserved farmers and ranchers.
A collection of aligned project activities will intentionally seek to enhance engagement with communities and farmers who have been historically underserved by federal crop insurance, said professor and assistance vice president at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Ronald Rainey.
Besides investing in these two new partnerships, the Risk Management Agency has invested $3.19 million since last year on partnerships that involve 25 projects and dozens of awardees and sub-awardees to expand crop insurance access.
The USDA announced a $2 million investment in cooperative agreements in January on risk management education, to include training on federal crop insurance options, for historically underserved and small-scale producers.
The USDA invested nearly $1 million in funding directed to universities and nonprofits for nine risk management education projects last July, which included education federal crop insurance, to again benefit historically underserved producers.